A group of 192 athletes from Ukraine sent a letter to French leaders and the organizers of the 2024 Olympics, hoping to keep Russians from participating in this summer's event.
The Ukrainian athletes sent their letter to French President Emmanuel Macron, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, Minister of Sports of France Amélie Oudéa-Castéra and the organizers of the 2024 Olympic Games. The letter comes a month after the International Olympic Committee said some Russian and Belarusian athletes could compete under a neutral flag.
Teams of athletes with a Russian or Belarusian passport will not be considered, the IOC said. Only those competing in individual competitions would be allowed.
Russia has not been formally represented in the Olympics since 2016 due to a state-sponsored doping scandal. Russian teams were allowed to compete in the 2018 Olympics as Olympic athletes from Russia. For the 2020 and 2022 games, these athletes competed as the Russian Olympic Committee.
The biggest difference between 2024 and previous Olympics is that those participating in team sports will now be excluded from the competition.
This is the first time the Olympics have been held since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The 2022 Winter Games ended on the same day the war started that year.
The IOC ruled that athletes who actively supported the war in Ukraine would be excluded from competition. Ukraine's Olympians argue that many of the Russian athletes are active supporters of the war.
"Allowing athletes from aggressor countries, who openly support Russia's armed aggression against Ukraine, violates the fundamental ethical principles declared by the Olympic Charter," the letter reads. "We believe that any format of participation of athletes from aggressor states is unacceptable. The primary goal of Olympism is to place sport at the service of the harmonious development of humankind, aiming to promote a peaceful society interested in preserving human dignity."
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